Please e-mail us:

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." ( The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals.)
  - Proverbs 2:10                  

   "Even the  animals...know their owner and appreciate his care."  - Isaiah 1:3



      Classical Guitar CD!
Click on the picture to order.

Listen to works by Pujol
performed with the fingertip method by guitarist Bill Baker in his latest CD, Gardens of Spain. 


Second Chance, A Tale 
of Two Puppies

Author:  Judy Mansrud
Illustrator:  Cathy Pool

*Read our review and how to buy the book on our
RESOURCES page.  Just click on the icon at the top.



   For your free booklet: 
How Not to Buy a Puppy, printed by the Humane Society, please e-mail our staff.


   Dog or cat driving you crazy?  Go to  and check out their many information sheets with solutions on common dog and cat behavior issues.  Click on our RESOURCES page for more information.


   Start a Neighborhood
Watch for Animals
program.  Go to our RESOURCES page to find 
out how from the Humane Society.


   Order the booklet "Searching for Your Lost Dog" by contacting the WI Border Collie Rescue.  Go to our RESOURCES PAGE and see Sandy Faut's story from her column "The Buddy Beat" (Daily Herald) on losing a dog.


There are many deplorable and shockingly cruel things happening to dogs every day.  Yet, countless volunteers are doing everything they can to rescue and find homes for dogs.  They are indeed ascribing to the following:

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

           -Romans 12:21

Whatever way you can make a contribution to the effort to save more un- wanted pets will also be helping to over come evil
  with good.

"Commit to the Lord what ever you do, and your plans will succeed."

            -Proverbs 16:3

"God is able to  accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to hope or ask."

           -Ephesians 3:20

 "Look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others."

            -Philippians 2:4


 Music on this site courtesy of www.


  Go to our RESOURCES
for the Humane Society's "Pets for Life Behavior CD-ROM." (See #13 in list.) Get help on many behavior issues instead of giving up your dog!


about 70% of all antibiotics sold in America are fed to farm animals just so they can be kept in overcrowded, stressful, unsanitary conditions?  This practice results in antibiotic resistance, so the drugs are less effective for people and animals AND helps create power ful super germs. Please contact your U.S. senators and reps to ask them to support
S 1460/HR 293, which will curb "non- therapeutic" antibiotic use.  The Capitol switch board is as follows: 202-224-3121.
To find out who your legislators are go to and


Support retired US military & law enforcement dogs!
CEO Danny Scheurer


Shock collars are not the route to take with a mis-
behaving dog.  Read the story by Master Trainer Brad Howe of BarkBusters on our "From the Heart" page.
Contact him with any training questions at (847) 298-7988 or e-mail him at 




\NEW INFORMATION is constantly being added.  So please check this section regularly!


-PAWS, SB 1139/the Pet Animal Welfare Statue of 2005

-The PETS Act, HR. 3858/the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act 

 -The Pet Safety and Protection Act, SB 451


Dogs' Adverse Reactions

Be INFORMED about adverse reactions from vaccinations, heartworm and arthritis/pain meds, flea products and much more on other drugs, food and vet treatments.



If you have had any experiences with a bad veterinarian, please go to and give them an account.



If you want to adopt a purebred dog or would like to know more about the different breeds of the "mix" you're considering adopting, go to 
This helpful site provides an easy-to-read chart with photos of each breed and information on size, weight, longevity, shedding, personality traits, and much more.  Don't make the mistake of adopting a breed that doesn't fit your lifestyle, time, family, or expectations.  Remember, too, that each dog is unique and won't always exactly fit the descriptions.  




                                By Judy Masrud
                                Illustrated by Cathy Pool

Review by

What happens when two puppies from the same litter are adopted out to two very different homes:  one family emphasizes proper training; the other doesn't?  The outcome for each family and dog are the essence of author Judy Masrud's excellent new book, Second Chance, A Tale of Two Puppies.  

Litter mates Boomer and Chance, Border Collie mixes, are adopted from a shelter by eager, young, first-time dog owners Andrew and Max.  The boys don't know each other, but the story follows their parallel attempts over a year to handle all the responsibilities that come with owning a dog.

The book weaves essential information about responsible dog ownership in a familiar story:  a child's metamorphosis from the initial excitement of getting that longed-for dog to the realization that owning one requires considerable time and effort.  Children and adults alike will enjoy this easy-to-ready story and its important tips.  To help new or would-be dog owners, Masrud also includes at the end of her 88-page book a list of supplies, other resource books, and a note to parents.  Second Chance fills a void in children's books by addressing the escalating problem of unwanted dogs and how they end up in that situation.

The book highlights helpful "do's and don'ts" of dog care and training in shaded boxes appropriately placed in the story for quick-and-easy future reference.  Twenty-eight wonderful black-and-white illustrations by Cathy Pool help bring the story to life as readers learn what happens when the boys take different approaches to dog ownership.  Masrud's answer to the unstated question, "Which way is best for both dog and owner?" is poignantly obvious even before the final outcome.

Pick up a copy of Second Chance for yourself (a relative, friend, neighbor, or teacher) before the new dog is adopted.  Read the book together as a family.  While not intended to be all-inclusive, it's a great start to investigating the question, "Should we get a dog?"  You'll get a "heads up" on what is entailed before making serious, heart-wrenching mistakes.  Then learn all you can before you make a final decision.  Do thorough research first; make sure the entire family is behind the decision and involved in the process and daily responsibilities.  The result?  A happy, well-behaved dog with a safe, life-long home and very proud, satisfied owners.

At $9.95 the book is affordable enough to get extra copies for classroom use or as gifts to friends involved in dog rescue.  There's a handy order form in each book.

On-line orders:
Or call 1-800-676-1160 MC & Visa accepted.  



In a plastic bucket, mix well the following ingredients:  1 qt. of 3% hydrogen peroxide; 1/4 c. baking soda; 1-2 teaspoons of liquid soap.  For a very large pet, you may add one quart of tepid tap water to insure complete coverage.  

Skunks usually aim for the face, but keep the solution out of the pet's eyes because it stings.  Wear latex gloves as any solution that got into a cut on your hands would also sting.

Wash your pet promptly and thoroughly, working the solution deep into the fur.  let your nose guide you.  Leave the solution on about 5 min. or until the odor is gone.  Some heavily oiled areas may require a rinse and repeat washing.   Rinse your pet thoroughly with tepid tap water.  Pour any remaining solution down the drain while the water is running.  NEVER store mixed solution in a closed bottle or sprayer.  Pressure will build until the container bursts, causing injury.

**Keep your dog away from skunks or areas where they might suddenly appear (e.g., utility easement behind your house, forests, wooded walking paths).  We know of a dog that was blinded by a skunk's spray.  

Visit the TINY DOG SHOP for many wonderful products best suited for your small dog.  Owners Matt and Jennifer Kraus will gladly help you out. Visit their site at or e-mail them at 



Shop on-line for AVON products with Andrea Kim, and she'll donate 10% of all net sales (up to 50% of profits) to the animal shelter or rescue group of your choice.  She'll also deliver the products to you.  Go to her site, and shop from 6 different Avon catalogs for cosmetics, jewelry, gifts and even low-carb snack bars!  Questions?  E-mail her at 

            *Did you know?  In 1989 Avon Products Inc. became the first major cosmetics company worldwide to end all animal testing for its products and ingredients.  Avon 
Breast Cancer Crusade raises funds for programs and 
services that help women directly and does not fund cruel
and irrelevant animal research.  Read more about Avon's
cruelty-free campaign at:



SaveThePickle at was begun by sisters Trina and Amanda Grace Serafin of Wood Dale, IL, to help pay for expensive biweekly chemotherapy treatments to save their 5-year-old dog Pickles.  Merging their creative writing and artistic skills, they began a line that now features more than 40 card designs, including "Yappy Birthday" and "Poochas Gracias."  The newly expanded line includes T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts, hats, calendars, ornaments, magnets, pencils, gift baskets and more.  Pickles is in remission now.  As their site states, their goal is not only to fund a lifetime of cancer care for Pickles, but also to help fund other cancer dog families.  Check out more about them at their site.  They were featured in the Daily Herald on April 30, 2005. 



Is your dog misbehaving?  Scratching, whining, jumping up, not coming when called, acting aggressive, experiencing separation anxiety?  These are a few of the issues that BARK BUSTERS addresses and cures.  According to a November 2, 2004 article in the Daily Herald, Bark Busters is a new Australian-based franchise that is growing in the Chicago area.  Trainers use a canine communication-based method to transform "problem dogs" into happy, obedient companions in two hours or less," said Gayle Kreer one of the franchise owners.  "You are sure to see results after the first two-hour session," she said in the Herald story.  The entire problem issue should be resolved within two visits, she added.  According to the Herald, the business owners offer a guarantee that lasts the life of the dog.  BARK BUSTERS:  Call 847-902-2029 for Gayle Kreer or 847-918-1350 for Mick and Mary Garrison.





I.    National Spay / Neuter No-Kill On-Line Petition

2.   Weather & Health Reminders

IMPORTANT:  Read Daily Herald "Buddy Beat" columnist
       Sandy Faut's important article:  "Be Sure to Do Your
       Research Before Giving New Medicine."   Her dog died, and
       she suspects it was the prescribed medication.

        Visit to learn vital information about drugs such as Proheart 6, Rimadyl, Deramaxx and many more.

3.   The Humane Society's Neighborhood Watch for Animals

4.   "For Bea -- One Dog's Story of Surviving Animal

5.   Humane Society On-Line Newsletters

6.   Books

7.   Other Resources (important web sites, board game and more)

8. Special Groups (incl. Rainbow Asst. Therapy and Dog
     Scouts of America)

9.  Did You Know...?? (important, interesting tidbits) 

       **In this section, be sure to read  DEATH OR WORSE for Animals Offered in ads "Free to Good Home."

10.   Newspaper & Magazine Articles

        (10.1) "Here's How to Make Kid-and-Dog Meetings Safer" (Sandy Faut)

        (10.2)  "Vaccinations Actually Harmful to Our Animals?"

        (10.3)"Crusade to Show Dangers of Drugs' Side Effects on Pets"  (Carmen Greco Jr )

        (10.4)"Have a Heart When Looking for a Pet; Don't Expect Perfection" (Sandy Faut)

        (10.5) "Have a Heart -- Build a Fence" (Sandy Faut)

        (10.6) "Study Says Fido Isn't Watching His Weight" (Assoc. Press)

        (10.7)   "In Case Your Dog Gets Lost, Follow These Steps to Help    Find Him"  (Sandy Faut)

         (10.8)  "The Buddy Foundation Has a Special
Program For You"
(Sandy Faut)

        (10.9)  "Moving On" (Steve Dale) -- grieving for a pet 

        (10.10)  "Don't Be Tempted to Purchase a Puppy If You're Not Ready" (Sandy Faut)

        (10.11)  "There's No Greater Love Than Helping a Dog in Need" (Sandy Faut)

         (10.12)  "Train Without the Pain:  Teach Your Dog With Gentle Equipment" (Steve Dale)

         (10.13)  "When Dog's on Medication, Watch for Possible
Side Effects"
(Sandy Faut)

11.  New Law Means Trust Fund for Pets

12.  Get a Graduate Degree in Humane Education

13.  Get Help from the Humane Society on Pet Behavior Issues

14.  Legislative Alerts


Check out any of the above, or simply start out with the following and work your way through this entire section.


Go to to read and sign this important petition and forward it to other animal-lovers that can help.  This national petition concerns 3 areas:  (1) to obtain a statewide (for every state in the U.S.) FREE spay/neuter program for all public county kill shelters; (2) a special pet adoption and spay/neuter educational awareness marketing/advertising budget for public kill shelters to help SAVE and adopt more homeless animals; and (3) a no-kill time limit shelter policy for any healthy adoptable animals.  

Pets & Animals in Distress / PAW is trying to get shelters, organizations, animal lovers etc. in every state to participate and represent the animals and get this important petition passed.  Pets & Animals in Distress is a free, non-profit pet adoption resource information and educational awareness web site for animal lovers, shelters, homeless pets.  Its mission is to help save, adopt and spay/neuter animals through better marketing, advertising and educational awareness programs to the public.


WINTER:  Be on the Lookout for neglected dogs during the winter.  If you see a dog left outside or tied up for more than a reasonable period of time based on weather conditions, call your local police.  What about that dog running loose?  Do you know its owner or someone who might?  Make a few calls fast.  Dogs or cats that have gotten out of their homes or yards can freeze in a short time.  Call your local animal control so the animal can be picked up and taken to safety.  

SUMMER:  Summer temperatures can take their toll on pets! The BUDDY FOUNDATION of Arlington Hts. reminds pet owners:

* A closed car on a warm day can reach 160 degrees.

* Dogs, cats and birds do not have sweat glands to control overheating.

* Breathing hot air defeats their body's effort to cool down.

* Brain damage occurs when the body temp. reaches 106-107 degrees.

Symptoms of heat prostration (exhaustion / heat stroke):

* Warm food pads, glazed eyes, heaving panting, rapid pulse, deep red or purple tongue, high temperature, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea.

NEVER leave a dog, cat or bird unattended in a car during spring, summer or fall.

First Aid for Heat Stroke:

* Get help -- call the police or vet.  Immediately move the animal to a shady area.  Improvise with a large blanket / towel for large animals.

* Splash cold water on the head, neck and extremities.  If water supply is limited, apply to the head first.  If ice is available, rub it on the gums or pack the paws in ice.  Careful around the mouth -- a distressed animal may bite.

Remember the Heartgard:

*JUNE is heart healthy month for dogs.  Remember to give your dog Heartgard monthly.  Heartworms can kill your dog.

PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG:  The following is taken from a June 2004 "Fence Post" in the Daily Herald..  "Yes, summer is here, our children are romping through our lawns playing tag and hide-and-go-seek -- and also possibly being infected with campylobacteriosis, giardiasis, tapeworm, leptospirosis. Oh, the list goes on and on.  According to the National Center for Infectious Diseases, these and many others may be lying in wait in your grassy knolls.  The culprit responsible for all of this is your neighborhood dog.  Their owners call it taking the dog for a 'walk' when it usually is taking the dog out to use your lawn as a toilet.  The placating law of picking up after your pet does not remove all the feces, and what about the urine?  There is always residue, unseen, lying in wait for the next unsuspecting child or adult to sit in the grass or pick up a toy.  Dog owners:  Please train your pet to do its business at home.  Then take your dog for that well-deserved walk.  This is a plea, but it should be the law! --Pamela Wilson, Lake Zurich, IL)


COOK COUNTY MAY REQUIRE 'CHIP' IMPLANTS:  A requirement to have all cats, dogs and ferrets implanted with an identifying microchip is now being considered by Cook County.  If passed, the ordinance would affect over 3 million pets.  Owners who do not comply would face fines of $20 per day.  The rice-sized chip is easily implanted with a syringe into the skin folds on a pet's neck and makes positive ID easy to reunite pets with their owners.  The chip would also help identify pet owners involved in  dog attacks.  Average cost of a microchip is $35-40.  But if the ordinance passes, Cook County would hold clinics and pet owners could have the procedure done for $15.  

HOW TO PREVENT DOG BITES:  A Palatine, IL girl who suffered a severe dog bite requiring over 100 stitches to her face and neck in 1999 now gives presentations on how to prevent such incidents.  Kelly Voigt has appeared on national and local TV and in the Daily Herald.  She gives her presentation to local school kids on how to safely approach a dog.  Dog bites are a leading cause of injury to children.  Kelly's web site is  Also check out the Humane Society's premier source of information on preventing and avoiding dog bites at

ENCOUNTER WITH A SKUNK:  If your dog runs into a skunk, mix a solution of 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.  Soak your dog with water, then lather thickly with the solution, taking care to avoid the animal's eyes.  Rinse after 3 to 5 minutes.

The Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society's Karen Okura, Behavior & Training Manager, reports in the fall 2003 issue of the group's magazine, Animal Crackers:  

"When animals are at the veterinarian's office, they often are exposed to all sorts of odors, which they carry home on their fur; some are secreted through the skin, as well.  This makes them smell a little makes them smell like THE HOSPITAL.  Spay or neuter surgery can permanently alter the scent of an animal, due to the change in hormone production.

Animals identify each other primarily by their individual odors.  So while Sassy may look the same after her vet visit, she doesn't smell the same.  Which causes confusion and possibly fear in the animals that she's coming home to, which may cause them to respond with aggression and defensiveness.  This is to be expected.  This will pass.

When you bring an animal home from the vet's office, it is best to keep him separated from the other animals in your home for a while to recuperate in peace.  It will also give him time to get his old smell back.  After a few hours or sometimes a day or two, everything should be back to normal.

So don't yell at your other dog or shoo your other cat away.  Be patient and understanding of their unwelcoming behavior."

RAISINS & GRAPES MAY BE FATAL TO DOGS:  "Buddy Beat" columnist Sandy Faut reported in the Sunday, May 2, 2004 edition of the Daily Herald  (Section 5, page 2) that recent findings show grapes and raisins can cause renal failure and death in dogs.  She sites articles from an ASPCA doctor in Animal Watch, summer 2002 and another story from the March 2003 issue of Dog Fancy magazine.  Getting the dog to the hospital fast is key to hopefully saving his life.

PET MEDS purchased on-line may not be best for your pet.  According to our dog's vet, on-line Frontline and Heartgard come from unknown sources.  The manufacturers of these two prescription medicines do not supply to the on-line seller sites.  Also, should your dog happen to contract heartworm while on Heart Guard that's been purchased at a vet, the manufacturer will pay for the total cost of your dog's treatment to get rid of the heart worm.  That is not the case for Heart Guard purchased on line.


BE SURE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE GIVING NEW MEDICINE (by Sandy Faut, "The Buddy Beat," Daily Herald, Section 5, page 2, Sunday, February 22, 2004)

In my last column, I shared with you the events of the last two months of my dog's life.  How he went from an apparently health senior dog to one so weak and ill that my husband and I made the heartbreaking decision to let him go.

The span of time between health and illness was so short that I began to wonder if the arthritis medication I had given him was the trigger.

I remembered an article on arthritis medications I read some months back in The Whole Dog journal.  I was determined to find it, and when I did, I read it over twice.  It made me wonder even more.

This article, written by Lexi-ann Grant, titled "Administer With Care," was from the June 2003 edition of the journal.  It was rather lengthy, but I decided then that even though I couldn't cover all the good points, I had to share some with you.

Grant's article concerns itself with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, in general, and Rimadyl, EtoGesic and Deramaxx in particular.  These drugs are similar but made by different drug companies and are widely prescribed for pain to reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis.

All of these drugs were approved by the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine after reviewing "premarket approval studies" supplied by the drug companies.  

Rimadyl (carprofen) was originally intended for human use but was changed to veterinary use and came on the market in 1997.  It appeared to be a god-send.  Owners who gave it to their arthritic dogs saw their dogs romping and running and playing again.  But with the apparent success of the drug came increased usage and with increased usage came increasing reports of dogs who had become ill after taking Rimadyl.

The Center for Veterinary Medicine of the FDA keeps track of what they call Adverse Drug Experiences reported by veterinarians and people like you and me.

At first, the side effects reported to the center were in line with the premarket studies:  vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, changes in kidney and liver enzymes, increased urination, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), weakness, confusion and even convulsions.  Since these side effects were common to NSAIDS, no alarm bells went off.  But then reports of dogs dying began to come in.

Though deaths seemed rare at first, over the next few years, with more than 2 million arthritic dogs on Rimadyl,, Grant writes:  "A full 39 percent of the ADE reports in 1998 involved Rimadyl.  Of these, 13 percent (about 471 cases) resulted in the death or euthanasia of the dogs."

With these numbers in mind, the Center of Veterinary Medicine met with Pfizer (the maker of Rimadyl) and, based on its suggestions, Pfizer issued numerous informational printouts for veterinarians and for patient handouts detailing clinical experiences with the drug.  They also put new information under the "Adverse Reactions" section of the product label.

Two other NSAIDs were subsequently approved for veterinary use:  EtoGesic (etodolac) in 1998 by Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth; and Deramaxx (deracoxib) in 2002 by Novartis.  Deracoxib is almost identical to the human drug Celebrex and though originally approved for surgical pain, it is expected to be approved for osteoarthritis.

EtoGesic, though not as widely used as Rimadyl, is following in its footsteps.  The more widely used it becomes, the more adverse drug experiences are reported.  Fort Dodge was also advised to increase its informational printouts to veterinarians and consumers.  The jury is still out on Deramaxx, but there have already been 100 adverse drug experience reports on it as of February 2003.

If NSAIDs are advised for your dog and you think it is the right thing to do, here are some recommendations from Grant's article:

Schedule a full exam to determine if in fact your dog has arthritis and not some other disease.  Insist on full lab tests (blood and urine) prior to using NSAIDs.  Do not change NSAIDs without at least a two-week, drug-free window between medications.  Insist on periodic blood tests while your dog is on the medication to alert you to any potential problems.  Give NSAIDs with food.  Be aware of NSAID interaction with other drugs.  Ask your veterinarian for and read the information provided by the drug companies about possible side effects.  Be aware of side effects and what they look like and discontinue use immediately if you suspect a problem.  Consult your veterinarian.

If you suspect a drug interaction, you may want to call the Center for Veterinary Medicine at (888) 332-8387 to report it.

If you have access to the Internet, you can search for background information on these drugs.  The following two sites were suggested to me: and  Type in the medication you're interested in and go from there.

If you have your dog on Rimadyl, you will definitely want to go to, click on Rimadyl news site and then click on Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2000, article listed on the left.

I will never know if the medication I gave my dog caused or triggered his ill health, but I am determined to be better informed next time.

In answer to a number of inquiries, my dog was not on Rimadyl.  He was on Zubrin, a much newer medication about which I have found very little on the Internet.  For a back copy of the June 2003 issue of The Whole Dog, go to or call (800) 424-7887.

PETCO TO PAY $900,00 TO SETTLE LAWSUITS:  In May the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights reported the following Associated Press story:  San Diego-Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., the nation's No. 2 pet supply chain, will pay more than $900,000 to settle two lawsuits that accused the company of mistreating animals and overcharging customers.  The settlements announced Thursday resolve both a lawsuit against the San Diego-based chain brought by district attorneys in four California counties along with a separate action filed in 2002 by San Francisco's city attorney.  In san Francisco, city inspectors and customers documented sick and dying animals kept in freezers; untreated animals with contagious diseases and animals in unclean enclosures with no water.





In the May/June issue of the "Humane Activist," the Humane Society notes that pets and wildlife need care and protection that concerned neighbors can provide in keeping a lookout for signs of neglect or abuse.

"The HSUS First Strike campaign, which has helped document the connection between animal cruelty and human violence, offers a tip sheet with advice on starting a Neighborhood Watch for Animals.  Tips include watching out for pets in parked cars and abused, neglected or abandoned animals; helping the elderly and disabled with their companion animals; and designating a dog-friendly park.  

For copies of the Neighborhood Watch for Animals tip sheet or wallet cards with handy emergency numbers to report animal cruelty, call



Or download the tipsheet at  For more information on the HSUS First Strike campaign, please visit

The Humane Society's youth education division, the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), also offers an Adopt-a-Classroom program.  When you adopt a K-6 classroom for $30, the teacher is provided with worksheets, calendar pages, a class poster and Kind News (trademark), a monthly classroom newspaper that teaches humane behavior in children.  "Teachers use the materials in everyday lessons -- from activities on animal habitats to short stories that illustrate how to treat animals with respect," notes the July/August 2003 issue of the Humane Activist.  "You can specify the school, classroom and grade you would like to sponsor, or we'll choose for you."

To adopt a classroom, contact NAHEE, P.O. Box 362, East Haddam, CT 0-6423; phone 860-434-8666; e-mail them at or visit their site at

By adopting a classroom, you can make a difference!

4.  FOR BEA, by Kristin von Kreisler

This book tells the story of the author's Beagle, Bea, a stray that had been used in a research laboratory.  According to the Humane Society's fall 2003 "Animal Update," the book details Bea's recovery from an animal who feared human contact to a loving companion, enlightening readers about the plight of research animals and pointing them to our campaign.  After reading For Bea, renowned actress Mary Tyler Moore offered to help with our efforts to end the suffering of research animals.  We're delighted that this issue is getting the attention it deserves."

For more information on the Humane Society's Pain and Distress Initiative, go to or call their Animal Research Issues Staff, 202-452-1100.                     


-Humane Living is a newsletter that showcases the many animal protection programs of the Humane Society.

-Pets for Life provides advice on living with bets; incl. special editions on cats and dogs.

-Special e-newsletters on a wide variety of topics

Check out



* Second-Hand Dog:  How to Turn Yours Into a First-Rate Pet (by Carol Lea Benjamin)

* The Adoption Option (by Shari Kalina)

* Choosing a Shelter Dog:  A Complete Guide to Help You Rescue and Re-Home a Dog (by Bob Christiansen)

* The Latchkey Dog -- How the Way You Live Shapes the Behavior of the Dog You Love (by Jodi Andersen)

* Adopting the Racing Greyhound (by Cynthia A. Branigan)

* The Well-Behaved Dog and Owner's Guide (by Gwen Bailey)

* The Complete Book of Dog Training (by Thomas A. Knott and Dolores Oden Cooper)

* The Everything Dog Book (by Carlo DeVito and Amy Ammen)

* The ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs ($24.95)
(IBN # 0-8118-1904-3)  Provides a very thorough
understanding of each breed and its traits

* Dog Facts (by Joan Palmer)


* Adoption Articles

Go to and in their "Library" section under "adoption," you'll find many interesting articles by the ASPCA.  Here are a couple of favorites:

        Article #27 "How to Pick a Winner -- Evaluating    Shelter Dogs for a Safe, Friendly, and Adaptable Temperament," by Pat Miller.

        Article #48 "Taking Care of Their Own (Breed     Rescue)" by Julie Morris.

* Helpful Sites (Humane Society of the U.S.)
There's a plethora of helpful info on this site.  Be sure to check out how you can donate an old fur coat or fur accessory to be used to comfort wild animals that are injured or orphaned. (Humane Society/service dogs) (Humane Society) (Humane Society/activist network) (Humane Society/interactive site to help kids develop humane values) (Humane Society/interactive site for older kids -- jr. high and high school -- to get involved in animal protection activities) (Humane Society/info on training and professional development opportunities for animal care & control prof. and anyone who wants to learn more about animal advocacy careers) (Humane Society/site for staff & volunteers of local humane soc., animal shelters and animal control agencies) (Humane Society/urban wildlife issues)

to subscribe to the Humane Society's free weekly e-mail action alert, send an e-mail to -- Just for Kids
  424 E. 92nd Street
  New York, NY  10128-6804
  212-876-7700 (Learn the shocking conditions at puppy mills, which supply pet stores, and how dogs from such mills usually have health and behavioral problems.  Find out what you can do to stop puppy mills.)  

Sens. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) are expected to introduce a Senate bill that will strengthen humane standards for commercial dog breeders.  Find out about H.R. 3484 at (This Pennsylvania group has won a special ASPCA award for their efforts to end prolonged chaining or penning of dogs, which causes many problems and can encourage aggressive behavior.)

* Board Game Teaches Safety Around Dogs

  Check out a new board came called Doggone Crazy!
Here's what the Humane Activist said about it in their 
   Sept./Oct. 2003 issue:

   "Kids love dogs, but knowing how to interact with them is
   crucial to preventing accidents.  Each year in the United 
   States, 4.7 million -- more than half under the age of 13 --
   are bitten by dogs.  Children are at least three times more
   likely than adults to sustain a serious injury.  

   An innovative tool for dog bite prevention education, 
   DOGGONE CRAZY! teaches children safe behavior around
   dogs and how to communicate (a key to avoiding bites) in a
   fun and interactive way.  Developed by dog bite prevention 
   experts, this board game includes question cards, game 
   pieces, and photographs of dogs signaling a range of 
   emotions through postures and facial expressions.  Players
   quiz one another and act out safe behaviors as they race
   around the board collecting bones.  

   Order DOGGONE CRAZY! now online at
   bite.asp or call 860-434-8666.  To learn more about pre-
   venting dog bites, visit"

* Find Out Why Tethering is Inhumane

   In 2003 Connecticut's governor signed into law P.A. 03-212,
   which imposes a series of increasing fines for confining or
   tethering a dog for an unreasonable period of time.  This is the 
   first state anti-tethering law.  For more on chained dog issues
   and what you can do in your state or to order Do You Chain
   Your Dog?
flier, which explains why tethering is inhumane and
   gives practical alternatives to keeping dogs tied up, visit and click on "Dog Care."



* Rainbow Animal-Assisted Therapy Inc.

  This is a not-for-profit volunteer group with programs for children with emotional, mental and/or physical disabilities in the Chicago area.  Their specially trained and registered therapy dogs are great motivators for children.  Programs at hospitals, schools, parks and camps teach children to pet, brush, walk and use obedience commands with the dogs.  They also play and give treats to the dogs.  Communication skills, discipline, coordination and strength improve as a result of Rainbow Animal-Assisted Therapy Programs, according to the group's brochure.

For information call Nancy Lind 773-283-1129.

While the group is headquartered in Northbrook, they have training for the dogs in various locations.

Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA)

According to their site,, ITA's mission is to "enhance the quality of life through the human/animal bond."  They specialize in animal-assisted therapy in occupational, speech, special ed and psychotherapies.  They work with children and adults who are physically, developmentally or emotionally disable and many others who can be assisted through interacting with animals.  Their motto is "Pets Helping People."

Please check out this wonderful site.  It's very well organized and easy to find answers to all your questions and concerns.  

Dog Scouts of America

According to the group's brochure, Dog Scouts of America promotes responsible dog ownership and the importance of the human/companion animal bond.  The group helps reduce animal cruelty by teaching people how to properly care for their dog and understand normal dog behavior; introduces owners to positive training methods; and reduces the number of dogs that enter shelters each year by the millions, often surrendered due to behavior problems. 

Dog Scout Troops have meetings; animal-assisted activities such as visits to nursing homes, hospitals and schools; fundraisers; community education; art shows; training demonstrations; classroom education and more.

Contact:  989-398-2000 for general information, membership and how to start your own troop.


Troop 103 in Chicago, contact Karen Staley at 5200 W. Midlothian Tpk., Crestwood, IL   60445       

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

9.  DID YOU KNOW...??

*  The part of the human brain that detects smell is about one-half inch in size; in a dog it's 20 square inches.  No wonder a dog's sense of smell is 40 to 100 times greater than our smell.

*  Dogs not only smell more, but ca separate smells into different categories.  For example, a dog can smell the different types of pollen.  So next time your dog is driving you crazy with sniffing everything, have a heart!  He can't help it.  There's just so much more information out there to him.

*  The RED WOLF is on the endangered list, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  There are less than 600 left.  Threats are hunting and interbreeding. 

DEATH OR WORSE for animals offered in ads that read: "Free to Good Home"
(the following appeared in "Pet Notes" on

    1.  People value what they pay for.  Pets obtained for free are less likely to be spayed or neutered by their new owners (why bother with vet bills?), and more likely to be abused and/or discarded because "there are plenty more where that came from!" A recent study at one animal shelter yielded the startling statistic that 51% of all owner-surrendered dogs had been purchased for less than $100; and 41% of all owner-surrendered dogs had been obtained "Free to good home."

    2.  So-called "Bunchers" gather free pets until they have enough for a trip to a Class B Dealer who is licensed by the USDA to sell animals from "random sources" for research.  The Buncher may only get $25 a head for former pets, while a dealer can get between $100 and $450 per pet.  The Class B dealer probably already has a contract with certain facilities and will transport them to other areas within a state or even out of state.

    3.  Free animals are taken to "blood" pit bulls -- to train fighting dogs how to kill and to enjoy it.  This can be dogs and cats of any size--in fact, rescuers suspect that a recently rescued cat was used in this manner.  Often, a larger dog's muzzle will be duct-taped shut so that he can't bit back, and the fighting dog will gain confidence in killing a dog larger than he is.

    4.  One "adopter" in this area took free kittens to his "good home" as dinner for a pet snake.

    5.  Unspayed or un-neutered pure-bred dogs may end up as "breeding stock" in a puppy mill.  One woman was certain that if she didn't give away her Dalmations' AKC registration papers along with the dogs, she could keep them safe from milers.  WRONG!  Unscrupulous breeders, who use puppies as cash crops like other farmers raise cattle, pigs or chickens, aren't above forging registration papers or using those from deceased dogs.  Rescuers have learned the hard way to make sure that all pets they place have been spayed or neutered before going to new homes.

    6.  So-called "collectors" watch the newspapers for "Free to Good Home" animals.  These collectors truly believe they are "rescuing" the animals.  Animal Aid had dealings with one such collector, right here in Southwestern Michigan.

For more on this issue, go to "Pet Notes."  There you will find the story of poor Brutus, a handsome, well-fed black Lab whose owner moved and gave him away.  This "free to good home" dog ended up chained without food or water in a backyard full of garbage -- until he was rescued and his "new" owner was convicted for animal neglect and cruelty.  



The following articles appear below:

10.1  "Here's How to Make Kid-and-Dog Meetings Safer"
10.2  "Are Annual Vaccinations Actually Harmful to Our Animals?"
10.3  "Crusade to Show Dangers of Drugs' Side Effects on Pets"
10.4  "Have a Heart When Looking for a Pet - Don't Expect Perfection"
10.5  "Have a Heart - Build a Fence"
10.6  "Study Says Fido Isn't Watching His Weight"
10.7  "In Case Your Dog Gets Lost, Follow These Steps to Help Find Him"
10.8  "The Buddy Foundation Has a Special Program For You"
10.9  "Moving On"
10.10 "Don't Be Tempted to Purchase a Puppy If You're Not Ready"
10.11 "There's No Greater Love Than Helping a Dog in Need"
10.12 "Train Without Pain:  Teach Your Dog With Gentle Equipment"




By Sandy Faut
 The Buddy Beat

Having a dog that interacts well with people is vital and the owner's responsibility.  "The Buddy Beat" columnist Sandy Faut put together a good article on that subject in her Sunday, April 21, 2002 Daily Herald article, Neighbor/Section 5, pg. 2.  Thanks Sandy for reminding readers of the basic do's and don'ts.

Kids and dogs go together.  There's just a natural connection.  A child sees one of those furry, four-legged creatures and his eyes light up; he wants to go touch him.  In a good encounter, the dog's tail wiggles in anticipation and welcomes the attention.

But not all dogs are comfortable with children, and not all children know safe ways to interact with dogs.  On warm, spring days when children and dogs are out walking or playing, here are some safety tips for parents and children to help make any kid-and-dog meeting a safe one.

Tips for parents:

* Teach children safe ways to be around dogs.  Don't assume children know how to act.  Repeat rules often, especially to young children whose excitement may cause them to forget safe behavior.

* Be positive about animals.  Don't teach children to be so fearful they miss out on the fun and friendship of pets.

* Be a role model when you encounter pets.  Don't ignore the rules just because you're an adult.

* Teach children how to "read" a dog's face and body language, his posture, ear set, tail set etc. Don't be too general.

* Teach children the difference between interacting with the dog they live with and the dog they see on the street or in the park.

Here are some rules for children to help them interact safely with the dogs they live with.

* Approach your dog from the side or front so he can see you coming.  Don't sneak up on him or grab him from behind.  He might get frightened and react.  Think about how you feel when someone sneaks up and grabs you.

* Stroke your dog's side and back.  Try not to pat him, especially around his eyes, ears or mouth.  Think about how you'd feel if someone patted you around your eyes and mouth.

* Don't pull your dog's tail or ears.  You may hurt him and he might react.  Think how you feel when someone hurts you.

* Don't go near your dog when he is eating or sleeping.  Your dog may be protective of his food or you may startle him out of his sleep.  Even if your dog is friendly, play it safe and give your dog space.  Think about how you would feel if you were hungry and someone took your food away or if they poked you while you were sleeping.

* Don't go near a mommy dog and her babies.  She may feel her babies are threatened and want to protect them.  Think about how your parents want to protect you.

Here are some rules for children when they are around dogs they don't know:

* Never approach a dog you don't know, whether he is in the park, behind a fence, tied to a tree or inside a car.  Dogs are protective of their territory and may see you as a threat.  Think of how you feel about your own room or yard or toys.

* Never attempt to pet a dog on a leash unless you first ask his owner whether it is safe to do so.  Then extend your hand slowly so the dog can sniff it.  Always ask permission, even if the dog looks friendly.  Some dogs are timid or afraid or unsure of themselves around strangers.  Think of how you feel around an unfamiliar person.

* Learn what a dog is telling you with his eyes, ears, mouth, body and tail.  Stay away if he does any of the following: growls, shows his teeth, barks a lot, stares at you, raises the hairs on his back, holds his ears flat against his head, tucks his tail and crouches.  These can be signs a dog is aggressive, afraid, timid, hurt or angry.  Think about what you do when you're afraid, hurt, angry or shy.

* If you are around a dog you don't know and he comes toward you, stand perfectly still, don't yell, don't run, don't look into the dog's eyes.  If you have food, drop it.  Don't move until the dog has moved a distance away from you.  Think about how you are in an unfamiliar situation.  You want to psyche it out and know it  is safe before you move on.

(10.2) "Are Annual Vaccinations Actually Harmful to Our Animals?"

By Sandy Faut
The Buddy Beat

This is the question addressed in the September 8, 2002 "Buddy Beat" column (Neighbor / Section 5) in the Daily Herald.  Writer Sandy Faut notes that the Wall Street Journal brings up the issue in its July 31, 2002 story, "Are Annual Shots Overkill?"

The controversy centers around whether annual shots are necessary for distemper, parvo, rabies etc. to maintain immunity, or immunity lasts for several years.  So far there's no definitive conclusion.

Most animals experience only mild side effects to yearly vaccinations -- lethargy and/or soreness around the site of the injection.  But in some animals (see article by Dr. Michael Lemmon in the 1995 issue of "Animal Guardian," noted by Faut) the reaction can be severe or even life-threatening -- convulsions, cancer, anaphylaxis, auto-immune diseases.

Faut says the Wall Street Journal article notes studies show a dramatic increase in the incidence of cancerous tumors between the shoulder blades in cats, where injections are given.  Marked increases in side effects in dogs and unexplainable health problems are other hallmarks of recent studies.  Some doctors theorize that chemical additives used in some vaccines to help boost the immune response are the culprits.  Although tiny amounts of the chemical are used, accumulation of it over the years could be the source of problems.  More research is necessary.

Faut ends the article "It is not known how long an animal's immunity lasts after a vaccination, but somebody must know more than they are telling.  Consider this:  According to Rundle's Wall Street Journal article, drug companies involved in producing vaccines for animals say that proving the length of time an animal is protected by a vaccine would be too expensive and take too much time.  But one company, and I quote the same article, Pfizer Inc., decided to test is one-year rabies vaccine on live animals and discovered it lasted for at least 3 years.  It sells the identical formula simply packaged under different labels -- Defensor 1 and Defensor 3 -- to satisfy different state vaccination requirements."

(On a personal note, my dog -- an 8-lb., 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier -- had a terrible reaction to his annual shots this year.  He wasn't the same dog at all and was sick for several days.  On the second day, I took him back to the vet, who injected water for hydration, and told me that the same size dose of vaccination is given to every dog -- Great Dane or Chihuahua.  That makes no sense to me!  The vet's only recommendation was to split up the shots with several weeks in between for next year.  She offered no explanation and didn't seem overly concerned.  Next year we're going to a different vet to start with.  It took my dog about 5 days to really return to normal.)

(I brought up this issue of over-vaccinated dogs with a neighbor whose 5-year-old Wheaton Terrier had developed fatal tumors throughout the sinus cavity.  Several vets had absolutely no idea why or where the condition came from.  Could this poor dog have just been sensitive to the toxins being shot into him annually via the vaccines?  Like a person who has a terrible reaction to a vaccination or medication?  Or a person who develops cancer due to a weakness or sensitivity to some toxin?)

(10.3) "Crusade to Show Dangers of Drugs' Side Effects on Pets"

By Carmen Greco Jr.
Daily Herald Staff Writer

(From the January 9, 2003 Daily Herald, Section 5, page 3)

    When Debbie Randazzo's dog developed colitis last year, her veterinarian put the 12-year-old poodle on a drug called Metronidazole.

    That prescription turned into a death sentence for her beloved Sonny, the Carol Stream woman suspects.

    While the drug cleared up his colitis -- an inflammation of the colon -- Sonny showed stroke-like symptoms after six months on the medication.

    In May, the dog, which Randazzo called one of her children, died of a brain seizure.  The seizure led to a frantic, late-night visit to the emergency room.

    "The emergency room doctor said Sonny should not have been on the medication that long," said Randazzo, who was told its neurological side effects could be fatal for older dogs.

    "If I would have known that sooner, I would have stopped giving it to him and said I wanted to use another alternative."

    For Randazzo, the second opinion came too late.

    She said she does not want to blame anyone for Sonny's death.  After all, he was aging and his health problems were mounting, she said.

    Instead, Randazzo wants his death to be a cautionary tale for other pet owners who are giving their pets medication.

    She also is trying to launch a campaign to persuade veterinarians to hand out printed side-effect sheets when they prescribe drugs.

    "When we go to Osco, they give us a sheet that explains side effects," Randazzo said.  "But they don't do that for dogs.  Vets just give you a bottle and say, 'Give this to your dog for one or two days.'"

    Pet experts say Randazzo's case is not rare.  Most owners are not as circumspect as they should be with pet medications, particularly in terms of their dosages and duration.

    Compounding the problem is the way medications are dispensed.  Veterinarians have most of them on hand and often are prescribed under hurried circumstances.

    Today, pet prescriptions also are filled or refilled via Internet sites, where details on side effects can be scanty.

    Karen Kaniecki, animal care manager for the Downers Grove-based West Suburban Humane Society, said that places a burden on pet owners to become more educated about medications.

    "Owners are sometimes intimidated by their vets," she said.  "They think they must know what they're doing because they went to school and they're the experts.  But it's a matter of being on top of things, especially if you're going to two or three different vets."

    Sharon Granskog, a spokeswoman for the Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association, said veterinarians are encouraged to keep pet owners informed about potential side effects.

    Dr. Christina Chambreau, a Baltimore-based holistic veterinarian who speaks nationally on the topic, said any debate about medicinal side effects is only scratching the surface of pet health.

    The advice she gives pet owners hinges on simple principles, such as promoting good nutrition and exercise and regularly monitoring a pet to detect health problems early.

    "Most of the time, conventional drugs are used inappropriately on pets," Chambreau said.  "Drugs that address symptoms are less likely to help the animal live longer.  They should be the last resort."

    Nevertheless, she said, the drugs for Randazzo's aging dog were probably warranted, if for nothing else than to prolong the pet's life for those who loved him.

    Dr. T.J. Dunn, a Wisconsin-based veterinarian who responds to pet-related questions at, said about 90 percent of pet medications are manufactured in bulk, rather than mixed specifically for individual prescriptions.

    He said that does not necessarily make the medications -- which are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- riskier or more dangerous.

    "We are warned about potential side effects by the drug manufacturers, and we take that into consideration when we dispense the product," Dunn said.

    Both Dunn and Chambreau said providing a side-effect list would be one more way pet owners could educate themselves.

    "I am meeting more and more people whose animals have passed away from being overmedicated," she said.

    Veterinarians say the computer software that provides the side-effect information is too expensive, Randazzo said, "but I think it's a necessary expense."

(10.4) "Have a Heart When Looking for a Pet; Don't Expect Perfection"

By Sandy Faut
  The Buddy Beat

(FromThe Daily Herald, December 15, 2002, Neighbor / Section 5, page 2.  Emphasis added in the story is from us at

A reader recently sent a letter highlighting an important dog adoption issue.  Here is some of what she had to say.

"I am writing to you as a fellow rescuer of abandoned, neglected animals.  I help with the Illinois Chapter of Heartbandits -- American Eskimo Dog Rescue.  I read and thoroughly enjoy your articles in the Daily Herald.  I find them painfully true when you speak of the lack of caring and compassion in this world today.  We get quite a few applications each week from people wanting to adopt dogs from our rescue, and it never ceases to amaze me that they all want the dog to be friendly, playful, healthy, housebroken and able to get along with their kids, dogs and cats.  Although I have only been involved with rescue work for 1 1/2 years, in that time I can count on one hand the number of applicants that were willing to work with some behavior problems.

"If you've not written an article on this topic, I would love to see one.  People need to realize this is rescue work and should be contacting us to help the dogs knowing they come with some health and/or behavior issues.  If the dogs were as good as the applicants request, they wouldn't be left unclaimed by their owners or turned into shelters or rescue groups.  Thanks for listening."

                                                                                                Joanne, Wheeling

Joanne makes excellent points.

It's understandable that when we decide to add an animal buddy to our family, we'd like to get one that has all the good attributes so that incorporating our new buddy will go as smoothly as possible.  Most of us have lives so full that adding a pet is a big decision, and we'd like our new buddy to be as hassle-free as possible.

The reality is, though, that pets are living creatures and come with wants and needs and baggage, whether that pet is a puppy or adult animal.  There are no perfect pets, as there are no perfect people, and we have to keep that in the forefront of our minds when we're deciding on which animal to adopt.  We have to keep an open mid and not expect perfection.

There's no question that taking an animal buddy into our lives requires work, both emotional and physical.  And if that animal has issues centering around his behavior or health, there will be more required of us.  But, then, what in life that is worthwhile doesn't require a lot of us?  And if we are looking to gain love, loyalty, a happy face and wiggly tail to greet us at the door, a friend for life, a furry head to stroke, isn't that "work" just part of the deal?  Isn't that what we do for friends?

As I see it, we're all in the same boat in this world.  We're human, and that means we're flawed and need all the help we can get to navigate life.  So, I keep wondering why it is we expect so much from dogs when we're so imperfect ourselves?  Why, when we need so much help to make it through life, we expect animals to come pre-wired for perfection?

People in shelters and rescue groups understand the desire for an animal buddy that has all the work pre-done, that is as close to perfect as he can get.  But we wonder about all the other animals that, like ourselves, haven't made it to the perfect stage yet.  What about them?  It breaks our hearts to see the same animals appear week after week in the column or wait month after month in a shelter, waiting to be taken into a loving home, waiting for a place to call home.  And weeks and months and years go by for some of them.

And why do they wait?  Many wait because they're young and rambunctious and need training, some because they still are working on potty training, some because they have been abused and are afraid, some because they are nippy, some because they're possessive of toys or food, some because they have chronic health problems like allergies, and some "just because."

It's sad.  And it's even more sad because some think a shelter or rescue dogs are more likely to have problems because they have some kind of defect.  Otherwise, they wouldn't be in a shelter.  Right?  WRONG!  They are in a shelter because we humans have some kind of defect.  We take on pets and then toss them aside when they get sick or old or have baggage, or we move, have babies, get bored or just want something new.  They also end up in shelters or with rescue groups because we fail to fence our property or watch them or track them down they get lost.  Stray dogs belonged somewhere at some point.

Shelter animals run the gamut when it comes to health or behavior.  In my experience, they are NO MORE PRONE to behavior or health problems than other dogs.

Some might think you can ensure a trouble-free dog by getting a purebred dog from a breeder.  That certainly is a good way to go, but even well-bred dogs from caring breeders can have issues.  Breeding dogs is not a science.  It's a crap shoot.  Mother Nature doesn't necessarily pay heed to what we humans are looking for.  She has her own set of rules.  So you may get a sweet little puppy that becomes the young dog from hell.

I have personal experience with this.  My 12-year-old male dog was the cutest, smartest, liveliest puppy and then he turned into the "teen" from hell.  Part of it was my fault because I didn't know what I had and how to deal with him.  But much of it was the temperament Mother Nature gave him.  I've known a lot of dogs in my life, personally, among friends and in the Buddy Foundation and I have to say, my guy is one of the toughest I have ever met.  Friends and trainers agree.  Do I love him to pieces?  Yes.  Was he the biggest challenge I've ever had?  Yes.  Would I trade him for anything in the world?  No.

In fact, I'm more proud of what I've been able to accomplish with him and learned more about dogs and their behavior from him than any other dog.  He was one tough cookies, but I wasn't about to give up; and with the help of friends and trainers, I was able to work with him and find a way for him to fit lovingly into our lives.  He is dog aggressive and people aggressive, but he would give his life for me.  I know that.  How many people could I say that about?  He was my puppy and my dog and always will be.  He came with things in his temperament that made him tough to deal with, but there was no way I was going to give up on him.  As a living, breathing creature who had no hand in what nature dealt him, it was only right for me to love him for who he was.  I'm always happy when people do that for me.  So why wouldn't I do that for him?  

So please, when you've made the decision to adopt, take a chance.

(10.5) "Have a Heart -- Build a Fence"

By Sandy Faut
The Buddy Beat

(From The Daily Herald, Sunday, January 12, 2003, Neighbor / Section 5, page 2)   

I've got a gripe.  In fact, I've got a few grips I'd like to share with you today.  They're i the forefront of my mind because I now live in an area where fences are not the order of the day.  Because this area is not the densely populated suburb I came from, there are more wide-open spaces and areas where yards flow into each other instead of stopping at a fence line.  This is pretty to look at, but not practical if you have dogs.

In areas where homes sit on the unfenced open space, not only where I live but wherever no-fence covenants exist, dog lovers have only a few options to kept heir dogs safely confined.  They either have to have a tie-out, an outside kennel, or underground fencing.  All of these options get under my skin.

Options No. 1,2, 3 -- tie-outs, or outside kennels, are perhaps the most distasteful to me because they fly in the face of all that is "dog."  When I think "dog," I think running, jumping, curiosity, life!  I think legs, muscles, energy.  I think flying over the landscape in pursuit of fun or more serious endeavors.  The thought of tying up or confining that energy for long periods of time seems so wrong.

I guess I always try to put myself in the dog's shoes to understand if something works for him and the thought of being confined or tied up makes me crazy.  I'd like to believe that kennels and tie-outs are temporary fixes or that dogs are left there only for short periods of time.  But I have a hunch that's not true for many.  Kennels and tie-outs seem to be "it" for some dogs.

What really grips me is when I see a doghouse enclosed in a modest kennel sitting next to an obviously expensive house.  What, the dog isn't good enough to live inside the house?  The bricks and mortar are more important than a living, breathing, feeling animal?  An animal who would defend that pile of bricks and mortar with his life.  No, I don't get it.  And every time I see that kind of situation, I get angry.

Now there's the other option, the nicely put "underground fence."  The "fence" that sets boundaries for the animal by administering a shock to his neck if he crosses the "no zone."  I realize that a lot of good people have these "fences" and that it's an option they had to exercise because they' couldn't have a fence.  But I always want to ask if these people would put a shock collar on their children to keep them from wandering.  Kidingly, some might say yes! But in reality, I don't believe any parent would do this.  So why is it ok to do it to a dog?  The dog feels the pain, but because he's a dog it doesn't matter?  Why?

Now I understand that dogs learn not to trespass those unseen, but felt, boundary lines and it is great to see a dog run free in his own yard.  But can't there be a better way?  And besides, underground fences don't keep children or other animals out and some dogs will endure the shock and break free only to be shocked again when they attempt to return.  In addition, people who are unaware of an underground fence can be very frightened if they see a big do bounding toward them.

What's the option if you live in one of those areas, you ask?  Don't buy in those areas, I answer.  The only way we can change those no-fence covenants is not to buy in areas that have them.  But we tend to go along because we want a house in a nice area that has all those open back yards that look so pretty.

I know there are people who would say, well, just go somewhere where they do allow fences.  That's a solution.  But from my experience, it's getting harder to find houses with large yards that allow fences or at least fences that are more than decoration.  And besides, I really don't understand why homeowners, emphasis on owners, can't put up, within reason, what they would like on their own property.

Well, I've aired my gripes.  My hope is that others who feel the same way will be emboldened to make choices about where they live that are good not only for themselves but for their beloved buddies.


(This story from the Associated Press appeared in the Daily Herald, September 9, 2003, "Neighbor" Section)

"The old wives' tale holds that people start to look like their pets.  Turns out it's the other way around:  America's pets are starting to look like Americans -- overweight."

"Whether it's round hounds or corpulent cats, as many as one-fourth of cats and dogs in the Western world are overweight, according to the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academies."

"It's the council's first update since 1986 of its 'Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats' and, while aimed at veterinarians, pet food makers and scientists, the 500-page report also contains useful pointers for people with pets."

"Kathryn Michel, a veterinary nutritionist at the University of Pennsylvania, said she has noted more overweight pets in recent years, particularly cats, and the problem seems to occur at younger ages than in the past."

"A big problem that people don't always recognize," she said, is that pets "are members of our families, we show them affection, and one way is by sharing food and giving treats."

"People don't have to ignore those hopeful eyes looking up, she says, just be careful.  A piece of a biscuit will help bond with the animal just as much as the whole biscuit."

"Like people, obese pets have a greater risk of developing such diseases as diabetes, heart disease and other health problems, said Donald C. Beitz, chairman of the committee that prepared the report."

"Beitz, a professor of animal science at Iowa Stat University, said the new study adds a chapter on physical activity for pets and points out that the council has established a Web site for pet owners to learn more about nutrition for their animals, how to determine if they are overweight and suggestions for helping them lose weight."

"The Web site can be accessed at

"The report says owners should be able to feel the ribs of a healthy dog, and it should have a discernible waist without fat deposits.  However, if the ribs and pelvic bones can be seen, it's too thin."

"If a cat looks overweight, it is, the report says.  There should be no heavy fat deposits on the back, face or limbs or a rounding of the abdomen."

"Help them trim down by offering less of their usual food, cutting back on or eliminating table scraps.  Also, within limits, offer foods with more fiber."

(10.7) "In Case Your Dog Gets Lost, Follow These Steps to Help Find Him"

By Sandy Faut
The Buddy Beat

(From The Daily Herald, Sunday, November 2, 2003, Neighbor/Section 5, page 2) 

When I see a "Lost Pet" flier tacked up at the vet's office or on a post at a traffic intersection, I almost don't want to read it because I imagine the pain the pet's family must be feeling.  For me, the thought of my dogs or cats being "out there" somewhere, lost and alone, is almost too much to bear.  Sometimes, just to test myself, I think through what I would do should one of my buddies get lost.

At a recent dog training class, I came across something far better and more concrete than just imagining what to do.  Its is an information pamphlet called "SEARCHING FOR YOUR LOST DOG" offered by the Wisconsin Border Collie Rescue Group

It is dedicated to "Cliffy," "a gentle and sweet-natured border collie" who came into a loving foster home after a life of mistreatment.  Before he could be adopted into a loving family, he ran away.  Hundreds of people in three states searched unsuccessfully for Cliffy.  His body was found on January 24, 2001.

As a tribute to Cliffy, the Wisconsin Border Collie Rescue group put together a booklet that came out of its intensive search for Cliffy.  It is the group's wish that the ideas and information will save others the "heartache, the worry, the sense of helplessness" and the ultimate loss the members suffered.

Because of space constraints, I will highlight information from the booklet.  I strongly suggest you send for this excellent booklet at:  It could save your dog's life.  

We all know that old saying about "an ounce of prevention."  Here are some preventative measures that are definitely worth a "pound of cure."  Make sure your dog always has some form of identification on him.  Whether its tags, microchipping, tattooing or some other form, your dog should always have an ID with your current phone number.  (Collars should not be left on dogs when they are crated or when they are home alone.)

Keep your dog in a fenced area or on lead when outside.  Don't rely on a fence to keep your dog from getting out.  Some dogs are escape artists.

Accompany your dog until you are sure he will not go "AWOL."  Winter's coming and so is the snow.  A large snowfall will, in effect, decrease the height of your fence.

When traveling with your pet, keep him in a create with ID tags attached.  The crate will protect your dog should there be an accident and may prevent him from bolting out of the car in unfamiliar territory.

If your dog does get lost, start to look for him immediately.  Don't wait to see if he'll come back on his own.  Walk the neighborhood calling his name.  Take treats, leashes, toys, and a dog buddy if he has one.  Talk to anyone you see and enlist their help.  If you have an answering machine, leave a message telling people you will be checking messages frequently.

If after an hour you haven't located your dog, make up a flier with the following information:  breed, sex, weight, coloring, type of coat, special markings and any necessary medication.  Attach up-to-date photos of his full body and his head.  If you're offering a reward, put it in big letters.

Make many copies and hand them out to people who work outside everyday.  Include garbage men, utility workers, police officers, letter carriers.  Drop some off at shelters, animal control and animal hospitals.  Post fliers where large numbers of people will see them as opposed to where you think your dog might be.  Put the fliers up in shopping malls, at the post office, bus stations, parks, churches, where you work, grocery stores, jogging paths, stores you frequent, libraries.

Please a lost-pet ad in the paper ASAP.  Let it run at least a week.  Check the Internet for lost-pet sites.  Post your dogs' picture and a description.  E-mail your flier as an attachment to people you know and ask them to help by posting it where they work and by forwarding it to people they know.

Leave food or objects with familiar smells outside your home in case your dog returns.

Contact all animal shelters within a 50-mile radius.  Visit the shelters in person and check on a continuing basis.  Shelters often have many people staffing their facilities and just talking to one may not get the message to all.

Also a Good Samaritan may have taken your dog in, hoping to find his home, but then turns him in when the search isn't successful.

Check local animal hospitals for any injured animals that may have been brought in.  Leave fliers at the shelters and animal hospitals.

Consider widening your search.  Dogs can travel far and wide.

If there are sightings of your dog, map the areas to see if there is a pattern.  Put out food or familiar items to help lure your dog.  Lost dogs can become confused and afraid of people.  Ask people not to chase the dog if he is sighted.

Do not give up looking.  Dogs have been found after several months.  But if you have not found him after several months, the outlook is not good.  There are support groups on the Internet that may help you through this period.

There is more good information in "Cliffy's Booklet," including a full size lost-pet form.  I strongly urge you to contact the Wisconsin Border Collie Rescue organization to get a copy.  "Should your dog ever become lost," the booklet reminds us, "you will likely be in a state of shock; taking a few minutes right now to assemble some basic information may really help in an emergency.  Place a head and body shot in this booklet, jot down the information in the flier, and keep the booklet handy."


By Mary Hayashi
The Buddy Beat

(This article appeared in the Daily Herald, Sunday, October 12, 2003, Neighbor/Section 5, pg. 2)

The Buddy Foundation would like to remind The Buddy Beat readers that we have a special program for the sponsorship of specific animals.  You can sponsor an animal featured in The Buddy Bet or you can call our hotline and inquire about which animals have special-care needs.

The continued viability of the sponsorship program is necessary for several reasons.

First, the number of animals rescued by the foundation has soared to a record high and there has not been a lapse of young and larger kittens all year.

Second, without major fundraisers organized, like our golf outing and annual birthday party, our bills always exceed donations.

Lastly, our adoption fees often do not begin to cover the animal's initial intake expense to render it healthy.

Believe me, the foundation spares no expense.  We routinely get specialty orthopedic, eye, cardiac and internal medicine care for our animals, including secondary consultations.  Imagine a litter of orphaned kittens only 2 weeks old.  They can drink hundreds of dollars in kitten formula before they are weaned. 

An increase in the number of animals we rescue directly translates into increasing veterinary bills, food bills and housing bills.  This is especially true when temperatures begin to plummet.

During fall, the foundation finds itself working at a frantic pace to rescue as many animals as we can before the harsh reality of winter blows in.  We work at an accelerated rate to spare as many animals as we can from frostbite, starvation, frozen paws, amputated limbs and death.

Our sponsorship program is designed so anyone -- individual, group or corporation -- can sponsor an animal that is waiting to be adopted.  The sponsorship fee of $100 assists with the animal's medical bills, training bills, food and housing expenses for a month.

Sponsors will receive a photograph and certificate of sponsorship to acknowledge their support of the sponsored animal.  Sponsors will also received recognition in The Buddy Beat for sponsoring an animal.

Perhaps you know an individual, business or organization that would like to sponsor a Buddy animal.  You can also take the initiative to organize a group.  As your friends, family and co-workers.

Have you thought about adopting or fostering an animal, but find housing constraints to be an obstacle?  Have you pondered the idea of volunteering for The Buddy Foundation and find your schedule is already too hectic?  If you have answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, the sponsorship program was tailored for you.

Make the commitment to make a difference in a homeless animal's life and sponsor a Buddy Foundation animal so that just one more animal can continue on its journey to find a loving home.

(10.9) "MOVING ON"

By Steve Dale

(Here are excerpts from Steve Dale's article in USA Weekend,
Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2003, pg. 8-9)

LOSING A PET is difficult.  Almost as tough is figuring out when the time is right to add a new animal to take the late one's place...

Carolyn Butler, curriculum coordinator at the Argus Institute at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which trains veterinary professionals to meet the emotional needs of pet owners, says that "there's no correct formula about when to bring another pet into the home.  For some people, moving very quickly to get another pet seems to work.  However, it's best to wait until all family members have had appropriate time to grieve.  That time frame varies, since we all grieve so differently, but getting another pet that same day or as soon as a wee after the pet dies is generally too soon."

So how do you know when you're ready for a new furry or feathered friend?  "What we grieve are relationships," says Sife, the author of The Loss of a Pet.  "When you feel you're getting over the relationship (with the pet who died) and are ready to start another, you probably are ready."

How can you gauge when children are ready?  "Odds are that if you're ready, your children are," Butler adds.  "As long as you've given children appropriate outlets for their grief, they're generally more resilient than adults."

And when you start the process of bringing in a new pet, Butler advises:  "The first message for children is that you're not replacing Fluffy.  They might think that if you can replace a dog or a cat, they can be replaced, too.  Instead, explain this is an all-new member of the family."

Children should be part of the discussion about what the new pet will be, but ultimately, it's the adult votes that count.  "A child may be convinced that a Great Dan is a great do," Butler says.  "A Great Dane is a great dog, but not if you happen to live in a studio apartment."

Summer is the best time ti integrate a new pet into the family, because the kids are home.  "We want the children to take some responsibility for the pet, and that's much more practical when they're not in school," Butler notes.

At least kids can tell you how they feel.  But what about four-legged family members?  "Surviving pets might grieve," says Myrna Milani, a veterinarian in Charlestown, NH, and the author of Preparing for the Loss of Your Pet.  "Also, a dog's position in the family pack may change."

Milani adds:  "Then again, in truth, the death of one pet might be a good thing for existing pets.  Consider the death of one of two cats who never did get along:  The surviving cat will have less stress and can selfishly enjoy 100% of the family's love."

Of course, you can't ask surviving pets if they're at a point in their grief where they're ready to welcome a new member of the household.  "You know your pets best," Milani says.

There's nothing wrong with matching the attributes of a specific breed with your lifestyle and taste, Butler says.  Many people go a lifetime with only Newfoundlands or Siamese cats as pets.  But your existing pets may not appreciate it if you introduce a look-alike pet.  Milani says, "If you have a household with three boxers and one dies, I'd suggest a Pomeranian or pug -- any dog that is not boxer-like and therefore isn't as likely to be a threat."

Sife says:  " 'Replacement' is a bad word because you'll never replace a pet who passes away.  You'll never really lose that ache in your heart.  But what's nice is the possibility of opening your heart to a new friend.


(10.10) "Don't Be Tempted to Purchase a Puppy If You Aren't Ready"

By Sandy Faut,
The Buddy Beat
(Daily Herald, December 14, 2003)

It's that time of year when there's lots of good cheer, and we get catalogs by the busload.  In many of the catalogs, there are good things for our canine buddies:  beds, bowls, throws, treats, toys, etc.  More and more companies, it seems, are realizing how important our buddies are to us and what a good market we can be.

What's disturbing to me, though, is when puppies are used for props.  You'll usually see one snoozing on a bed or sitting by the Christmas tree or popping out of a gift box.  And they always seem to have big red bows around their necks.  The pups are plainly being used as a marketing tool, and I object to that because it puts ideas into our heads, i.e., wouldn't it be cute to have a puppy with a big red bow for Christmas.

Now, I'm the first one to ooh and aah over those adorable puppies.  But I also know the flip side of the coin.  It should be no surprise to any of us that puppies can be "impulse items."  We see them in a layout in a catalog or in person in a pet store and get carried away with their cuddly, endearing ways.  And then we just can't help ourselves; we have to have one.

Six months later, when the puppy is no longer that darling little puppy but a demanding young dog with a will of its own, thoughtless owners cart him off to the shelter.  There he'll sit, alone, without the only family he's ever known.  If that pup is lucky, he'll be adopted into a loving home where they will love him and care for him for the rest of his life.  If he's not, he'll linger at the shelter it it's a no-kill shelter, or he'll meet death early because there is no room at the shelter and no other place for him to go.

Please don't give in to the impulse to get a puppy for the holidays.  Too many of them suffer when that impulse dies.  Don't go into pet shops that have puppies or kittens.  The whole purpose of the store is to play on our inability to say no to those cute furry faces.  And then those cure, furry faces mature and end up staring out at us from the cages in a shelter.

If you have thoroughly thought it through and know the responsibilities and care involved in adding a canine buddy to your family, wait until the holidays are over, until you have the time to take care of your new buddy without all the hustle bustle that surrounds the shopping, parties and gift giving of the holiday season. 

If you have thought it through and you absolutely have to have a canine buddy for the holidays, seriously consider a young or older dog.  They don't as easily get under foot, and most times, take less training time than a puppy.  And they are so needing of a home.  We want you to take in and love a homeless dog, but please do it when you can give your new buddy time, attention and training.

(10.11) "There's No Greater Love Than Helping a Dog in Need"

Sandy Faut
The Buddy Beat

(Daily Herald, December 28, 2003)

I want to share an e-mail I received from the rescue person in the dog club I belong to.  This gal is a wonderful person who rescues dogs of our particular and finds permanent homes for them.

She received the following letter via e-mail. 

It is exactly what we at the Buddy Foundation wish to say to all of the wonderful people who have been kind enough to open their hearts to a homeless dog.

Unfortunately, I don't know the author of the letter, but she expresses our thoughts beautifully.

Dear Rescue Families, "You can walk the malls and agonize over the items on your list, but you will not purchase a greater gift than the one you gave when you said 'yes' to a dog in need."

"Rescued dogs do not come in perfectly wrapped presents you find under the tree on December 25.  They come to us with histories, often sad, or with imperfections, such as missing teeth or scars from their past. 

"Some are strays with pasts that remain a mystery.

"Some experience behavioral issues, like separation anxiety, digging, jumping, or barking while some are special needs dogs that require additional time and patience.

As you read this, please stop and take a deep breath, relax, and smile.  At some point this past year (or last year or the year before) you gave a second or a third chance for a loving home to one of God's beautiful creatures who, through no fault of their own, were put in a position of not being wanted, of not fitting into their families' lives.

Your caring, love, and generosity cannot be surpassed.  You have given the ultimate gift.

"On behalf of the dogs who cannot speak for themselves and the rescue people, I want to thank you for your support.  You have kept (the Buddy Foundation) going.

"At a time of the year that often becomes overwhelming, stressful and hectic, take a moment to look in your dogs' eyes and receive the only gift they can give you, their unconditional love, a special love that I did not come into your life as the perfect package.  Bless you and happy holidays."

I want to add:  Bless the author of this letter, whose insight is so keen and whose heart is so big and who says so perfectly what we feel and want to express to you.  May your new year be filled with the love of your animal buddies.


(10.12) "Train Without Pain:
Teach Your Dog with Gentle Equipment"

By Steve Dale
(Chicagoland Tails, February/March 2004

WGN Radio's "Pet Central" host, Steve Dale, gives his thoughts on the proper way to train a dog in Chicagoland Tails, 773-262-0399,

Dr. Robert K. Anderson doesn't have kind words for chain link "choke" collars.  As he puts it, "A choke collar is unnecessary and inappropriate; after all, they call it a choke collar for a reason."  In 1985, Anderson developed what he believes is a better way to train dogs:  the Gentle Leader, a brand of head halter.

At first glance, the Gentle Leader might resemble a muzzle because a part of the apparatus fits around the dog's nose and mouth.  However, it's categorically not a muzzle.  Instead, the Gentle Leader is more like a horse halter--but it's for dogs.

Anderson is a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health/College of Veterinary Medicine in Minneapolis.  He explains that he helped devise the Gentle Leader by understanding the dynamics of how canine resistance works.  "When you yank on a chain-link "choke" collar, the dog can't help but pull in the opposite direction," he says.  "At best, the dog is only confused.  Or worse, the dog learns to associate pain with you.  At worst,  you might injure your dog."

Young puppies and toy dogs are especially prone to collapsing tracheas caused by overly hard yanks on choke collars.  Their necks and throats are delicate.  The Gentle Leader halter collar does not put any pressure on the dog's throat.  The pressure point is on the big muscles at the back of the neck, and a noose fits around the dog's nose and lower jaw.  When the handler pulls up on the leash, the Gentle Leader pulls the dog's nose up, slowing the dog down.

Using a Gentle Leader is like power steering for dogs.  Want to turn right?  Simply move the leash to the right, and the dog will do the same.  That's because wherever a dog's nose and head go, the body will follow.  Anderson maintains the Gentle Leader and other band name halter collars--such as the Halti--are the best tools available for dealing with dogs who take their people for walks, weaving all over as if they're avoiding land mines.  Since 2001, the American Humane Association Guide to Humane Training no longer recommends chain link "choke" collars for training; it does, however, recommend halter collars.  

Anderson, now 81, says he was first convinced there had to be a better way back in the 1950s, when he was director of animal care and control in Denver, Colorado.  "We would take in these anxious dogs who were very scared.  The approved method (of controlling and training problem dogs) was pretty punitive back then," he says.  "So, we'd use these harsh methods and the dogs would get worse, becoming more anxious and more afraid.  Instead, I decided to try to motivate with food."

Anderson began using the closed fist of his own hand as a target with yummy-smelling cookies hidden inside.  He taught the dogs to target his hand, an approach he still endorses.  "The target is created so the dog has something to focus on," he begins.  "Your hand is something you always have with you.  Once trust is gained, we eventually begin to reward with food intermittently.  In psychology, this is called the variable ratio schedule.  I call it 'Las Vegas dog training.' Just as people are motivated beyond belief by the mere possibility of a payoff, so are dogs."

He found, though, that his hand wasn't enough; Anderson also wanted equipment to help calm aggression and/or fear in anxious or nervous dogs.  He says that the Gentle Leaders and halter-type collars do just that.  He explains, "When a mother dog picks up puppies at the back of the neck, the puppies go limp.  This is the same idea.  The way the Gentle Leader is fitted and applies pressure, it creates a natural calming neurological response."

When it comes to aggression and/or fear, behavior modification is still required from a competent dog trainer, Anderson says.  "Our equipment doesn't eliminate the reason for a dog's fear or aggression.  After all, it is just equipment.  But it does make it possible to work with these dogs--and ultimately save lives of dogs who might otherwise be euthanized."

Anderson adds, "Still, when all is said and done, people train dogs; the equipment doesn't train them.  But we don't have to train by inflicting pain.  After all, don't they deserve better than that?   We're supposed to be talking about our best friends."

Note:  The Gentle Leader is recommended to be used with caution in breeds with pushed-in noses, such as the Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu, Maltese, etc.  The Gentle Leader and other halter collars are readily available at many stores that sell pet supplies, or can be found at or by calling (888) 640-8840.

3) "When Dog's on Medication, Watch for Possible Side Effects"
(10.13) "When Dog's on Medication, Watch for Possible Side Effects"

Sandy Faut
The Buddy Beat

(The Daily Herald, April 4, 2004)

I recently went through a bout of pneumonia, and the mild reaction I had to one of my medications triggered some deep thinking about my dogs and their health.

The medication was an anti-inflammatory and, though it can have harmful side effects when taken long term, it was only prescribed for two days.  I took one pill and noticed over the next few hours that I felt edgy and warm.  If that were the reaction with one pill, what would two days bring?  I decided to throw the pills out.

Over the past weeks, I've done a lot of soul searching about the medications I've given my dogs over the years.  When I experienced the uncomfortable edgy, warm feeling that came after taking the medication, it hit me:  what must it be like for our animals when they are having a reaction to a drug and have no voice to tell us?  Unless we are sharp enough to notice something is wrong, most dogs just go with the flow and never register what might be going on.  How many times have I put a pill in a glob of cream cheese to feed to my dogs or put a pill down their throats thinking I was helping them, never imagining I might be doing them harm?  On more than two occasions, the medications I've given my beloved dogs have had serious consequences.

Two years ago, I shared the story about my now 4-year-old female whose repeated use of a popular antibiotic became toxic to her, and resulted in her becoming totally helpless in two days.  Fortunately, the neurologist at the specialty clinic recognized the symptoms and the cause, and told me my dog would recover fully as soon as the antibiotic worked its way out of her system.  Her recovery took more than a month.

I've also recently shared the story of my 14-year-old male whose blood tests showed him to be very healthy at mid-November of last year, and so weak and debilitated from internal bleeding by Jan. 17 that we had to let him go.  I believe he lost his battle because of arthritis drugs I had given him.

I don't believe we could have foreseen the reaction my female had to the antibiotic since it was a rare occurrence.

What sticks in my mind, though, are the times I've asked my vet for medication to help my male dog's arthritis.  I wanted to spare him any pain, even though he got along quite well.

I tried different drugs over the years (never Rimadyl) but they all seemed to bother his stomach so I never gave anything on a regular basis.  I think that was a blessing.  Unfortunately, the last time I asked was, I believe, one too many.

At this point, I'm wondering if we try to help our animals too much?  Do we rely too much on drugs for this "help"?  Have we become a pill-popping society and are we passing that along to our dogs?  There are physical conditions in life that are painful, especially as we age.  Should we always be asking for drugs to see what we can achieve?  Are there other and better ways to do this?  I don't know.  It's a fine line to walk to know when to try something and when to hang back.  My tendency is to bring my animals in if I even suspect something wrong.  And I will continue to do that because I realize there are serious conditions that must indeed by treated.  

But what I'm not so sure of anymore is whether non-life-threatening conditions should be so casually treated with drugs.  Shouldn't I be more careful about what I'm putting down my animals' throats?  Should I always be asking my vet for drugs to "fine-tune" my animals' health?

These are sobering thought because either way you take a gamble.  There are no easy answers.


11.  NEW Law Will Mean Trust Fund for Pets

**NOTE:  This House Bill 1017 was signed into law by the governor of IL in March 2004 and is now known as Public Act 93-0668.  The act amends the Trusts and Trustees Act and provides a trust established for the care of "one or more designated domestic or pet animals is valid."

(Visit and search for Public Act 093-0668 to see the bill in its entirety.)

A Daily Herald story (by Sara Hooker/February 20, 2004) reports that lawmakers approved a bill and sent it on to the governor that would create trust funds for pets.** Under the proposed legislation, owners could select a guardian and put aside money for the care of their pet.  Even more important, someone would be appointed to make sure the deceased person's wishes are followed.  


The Herald reports that Park Ridge lawyer Lin Hanson and Hoffman Estates Republican Representative Terry Parke worked together to write the proposal.  

Costs for establishing such a pet trust fund would be $300 to $400, notes Hanson in the Herald's page one story.

A similar plan already exists in 12 states.

"The Illinois plan provides that judges can reduce the amount left to the pet if it exceeds the reasonable amount needed to care for it.  Any money remaining after the pet dies goes to whomever the owner specifies in the will.  If no one is specified, it goes to the estate's beneficiaries and then to the heirs if no beneficiaries are named." (page 6 of the story).

"Penalties for misusing the money left to care for a pet would range from repayment to jail time for contempt of court." (page 6 of story)

The story also proves some interesting statistics:

*  $5.8 billion is spent on vet bills for dogs; $3 billion on cats
    and $50 million on birds
*  79% of pet owners let their pet sleep with them
*  Pet owners spend an average of $100 on pets at
*  There are 33.9 million homes with dogs; 23.8 with cats  

Now that this is law, you can provide for the health and care of your pet BEFORE you die.  You can set aside funds from all or part of your estate for food, healthcare, training, grooming, whatever.  Don't assume that a family member or friend will care for your pet(s) if you die suddenly.  Statistics show that's usually not the case.  Your beloved pet would end up in a shelter or needlessly put to sleep.  

Talk to your attorney and take care of this legally now.   




The spring 2004 issue of the HSUS's magazine, Animal Update, reports the following:

"Humane Society University (HSU) has taken Humane Education to the next level--the graduate level. In partnership with Webster University and the National  Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE) -- the HSUS's youth education affiliate-- HSU now offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree with a Humane Education and Character Development focus.

The fully accredited degree program --conducted entirely online--trains students in creating, implementing, and evaluating educational programs that emphasize character development and respect for animals and nature.  The education faculty of Webster University in St. Louis--selected by U.S. News & World Report as a top Midwest master's degree university--teach the courses.

The MAT program has rolling admissions.  For more information, call 302-258-3004,e-mail or visit and go to Academic Programs."

13.  Get Help from the Humane Society on Pet Behavior Issues

The "Humane Activist" newsletter (Jan/Feb 2004) reports the following:

"Normal cat and dog behaviors can be problematic when people don't know how to deal with them.  Sadly, many pets lose their homes, are chained, or are relinquished to animal shelters when owners' efforts fail.  But now the HSUS provides solutions to more than 40 common behavior issues in our Pets for Life Behavior CD-ROM.  For a copy of the CD, send a $2 check (payable to the HSUS) to cover shipping to:

                                        The HSUS
                                        PFL CDROM-AA
                                        2100 L Street NW
                                        Washington, DC 20037

Or download the behavior tip sheets from our website at



PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Statue) of 2005,
Senate Bill 1139

-Introduced May 26, 2005

-Sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania and Sen. 
Richard Durbin, Illinois

-Would strengthen the protections afforded to puppies bred for
commercial purposes (i.e., puppy mills) -- mass breeders and importers who sell puppies, kittens, and other pets to the public through retail pet shops, newspaper ads, and the Internet.

-Specifically, it would address the chronic problems associated with the exploitation of dogs in commercial puppy mills by enhancing the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's enforcement abilities under the Animal Welfare Act.  The bill requires stricter sanctions on repeat offenders and would ensure adequate time for breeding females to recover between litters. 

TAKE ACTION:  Call Sen. Durbin's office (202) 224-2152 and Sen. Barack Obama (202) 224-2854 and ask them to support this legislation.  Or e-mail them by going to and select IL to find their contact information.

PETS Act (Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act), HR. 3858

-Would require state and local emergency planning authorities to include accommodations for pets and service animals in their evacuation plans in order to qualify for grants from FEMA.

-Would prevent the horrible situation caused by Hurricane Katrina when thousands of pets were left behind

TAKE ACTION:  Go to and selection IL to find your representative's phone number or e-mail address.  Ask him or her to support this vital bill.


-Sponsored by Daniel Akaka, Hawaii

-Would protect pets by prohibiting federal money from going to research facilities that purchase animals from Class B dealers.  Such dealers may have bought their animals from "bunchers," people who collect dogs and cats from "random sources" (backyard, car, street, animal shelters, or "free to good home" ads).

TAKE ACTION:  Call or e-mail Sen. Durbin and Sen. Obama; Sen. Akaka (202) 224-6361 to ask them to support this legislation.  E-mail or call Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa (select Iowa when you go to for his contact information).  Sen. Harkin is the ranking committee member on the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which SB 451 has been referred to.  It isn't easy to get a hearing on animal issues, so contact Sen. Harkin to ask him to push for a hearing.